• Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to say it’s more important for political leaders to stick to their beliefs even if little gets done. Forty-one percent of Republicans put themselves at the hang-tough end of a five-point scale — at four or five — vs. 18% of Democrats.
• Democrats are almost twice as likely as Republicans to say it’s more important for political leaders to compromise in order to get things done. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats put themselves at the make-a-deal end of the scale — at one or two — compared with 31% of Republicans. …
One complication for Republicans, however, is that the independents who swung to the GOP and helped deliver sweeping House victories tend to back compromise. Half of them, 49%, said it is more important to get things done, compared with 24% who want leaders to stick to their beliefs.
There’s also not much of a mandate for the GOP to repeal Obama’s signature health care law, a rallying cry for Republican candidates during the campaign.
Among those surveyed, 42% say the law “goes too far” and 49% say it is “about right” or doesn’t go far enough. One-third would like the law repealed.
Alan Grayson describes on DemocracyNow what it was like in the frustrating current Congress, trying to get anything done:
You know the words “bipartisanship” and “cooperation” have become code words for “appeasement” and “capitulation.” We gave the Republicans over a hundred amendments to the healthcare bill. They remained implacably opposed to it. Not one Republican member ever said to anyone in the Democratic Party, “If you give us X, Y, and Z, then we’ll vote for this bill.” Instead, they took X, Y, and Z as concessions on our part and then voted against it anyway. And this is something that the American people just don’t seem to see or understand, because we don’t publicize it.
I saw effort after effort after effort for the past two years, in the silliest ways possible, to keep matters from coming up to a vote and to stall and to procrastinate and to prevaricate on the right-wing side, and they were never exposed for it. I remember one day, we had the largest number of votes in history in a single day. We voted from morning until late at night. And the reason for that is that every time we had a vote, the Republicans insisted on a recount. So we ended up, instead of having something like thirty-five votes, we ended up having something like seventy votes, simply because the Republicans literally wanted to waste our time, asking for a recount every single time on every single vote. I lived through that. I didn’t see it on Fox. I didn’t see it on CNN. But I had to live through that, knowing that the Republicans were consciously wasting our time, stalling, hoping to drag it out, and not being called to account for it.
This is what Republican voters, according to the poll, want from their party, but after two years of no accomplishments, Congressional Republicans are going to have to find places of compromise now that their standing has changed, blatantly caving on promises, such as we are already seeing from Mitch McConnell or Rand Paul on earmarks, or like Marco Rubio redefining himself down from Tea Party heights.
On health care, David Frum predicts:
But all those things I don’t like — they are all the law of the land. To correct them will require action by the House, Senate, and president.
That’s tough at any time, tougher when Republicans announce that they have no intention to compromise on anything. No compromise means no deals.
So instead, Republicans will fall back upon a Plan B, basically a series of stunts. …
And at the end of two years, the law will still be there, more or less intact.
Democratic voters have already adjusted, if not always happily, to not getting every last pony, and as the poll shows, they want government to work, more than they want ideological purity and have grown pragmatic about it. This puts Congressional Democrats in a place of relative strength, unless they’re stupid enough to trade away something the public clearly supports, like repeal of DADT, and turn everybody off again.
Greg Sargent’s post about Nancy Pelosi, it’s going to be about busting through the wall of No in the legislative process, not so much in politics, anymore, fits in here. Speaking of the New York Times editorial against her, Sargent writes:
But all this seems to badly miss what one of the most important roles of the new minority leader will be: to draw a very sharp line against GOP efforts to roll back Obama’s accomplishments.
This task could matter at least as much for the new minority leader as communications or presenting a new face for the party. And while Pelosi clearly has a negative and polarizing image, few would argue that she hasn’t succeeded at building coalitions and maintaining unity at moments of extreme political stress — exactly what she’ll need to do if she’s going to hold the line against repeal efforts.
The key thing to understand is that we’re about to enter a period of bruising procedural wars — precisely the type of thing that Pelosi has already excelled at. Republicans are already discussing ways to starve the new health-care law by, say, limiting funding to agencies that would implement portions of it or using spending bills to block federal insurance regulations they don’t like. The next minority leader will have to be ruthless in her willingness to use procedural tactics to combat this kind of stuff.
He reminds the Times that even if Pelosi is not the TV celebrity type of politician:
That shortcoming, however, didn’t stop her from a tenure that enabled Dems to take back the House in 2006, to win another huge victory in 2008 and to pass more major legislation than any Congress in decades.
And she still stands:
Washington (CNN) – More money was spent and more commercials were run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in this midterm election cycle than against any other congressional leader since Newt Gingrich.
More than $65 million was spent on 161,203 ads that targeted Pelosi from January 1 through last week’s election, according to a new analysis of TV ads for CNN by Campaign Media Analysis Group.